I fell in love with Colin Farrell in the 2008 movie “In Bruges”. Not so much for the whole storyline about hitmen and assassins, but more for the beauty of Bruges and watching Colin Farrell run around in it.
Since then, Bruges, Belgium has been on my list of places to visit. Last spring, I spent about 5 days in Belgium and joined a tour via Viator® (www.viator.com) with the Brussels City Tour company to Bruges. The Bruges visit was only for half a day and was joined to a stop in Ghent (see previous post https://justcallmequeen.wordpress.com/2015/08/26/passing-through-ghent/). After reading my guide books, I wasn’t quite sure how much time I would actually need there. And since I wasn’t planning to spend the night there and most tours offered in the area only gave Bruges a half day, I figured it was enough.
Our tour bus parked in a lot on the outskirts of town. Walking in, your first view of the Bruges was this:
The first few streets were full of shops and restaurants to cater to all the tourists coming in for the day:
I opted for a simple snack of Belgian fries with mayo – after all, I only had a few hours to explore!
And some chocolate at Dumon for some pear, violet, and green tea truffles:
Recommended by Rick Steves, Dumon was a destination on my list of things to do in Bruges. When I asked if I could take a photo, however, the shopkeeper gave me a lecture on respecting her “art” and not “cheapening” it with photos online. WFT, lady – these photos should help you, not hurt you!
The first thing I wanted to find in Bruges was the carousel Colin Farrell rode around while shooting with the other assassins. And after an hour of walking around aimlessly, I realized it had been taken down and this is what remains:
But I found the bell tower where a lot of the action happened in that movie!
The bell tower faces a large square:
That is lined with eateries:
As well as cars, bikes, buses, and pedestrians:
Unfortunately, it is not the quiet and serene fog filled square shown in the movie. I feared for my life several times crossing the square as I dodged all the moving pieces!
Because we were only here for a half day AND we had started in Ghent, the tower was closed when we got there. But I got to take some photos around the plaza inside the complex:
Heading out away from the square in one direction,
In another direction,
You will see City Hall:
The rest of the streets have more shopping and churches
I was surprised and a little disappointed with how commercial things were. Bruges looked so much like a fairy tale in the movie! But I did appreciate the juxtaposition of really ornate architecture against the modern cars and pedestrians running through the streets:
My favorite part though, was the canal ride that takes you through the neighborhoods of the city:
So peaceful and tranquil. Much more like I had imagined it to be!